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PINION

 

This month in Moondance, I'm delighted to feature several interesting women writers on the subject of sexuality and power.

Katherine Hepburn is quoted as saying, "Perhaps men and women weren't meant to live together, but merely to visit one another from time to time." Orson Bean, the actor and provocateur, when asked to define the big difference between men and women, responded that "men are youth and beauty fuckers and women are power fuckers."

Eva Way Konigsberg, in her opinion simply titled Sex and Power, opens up this discussion with an exploration of power, both in the personal sense and across the genders. Why is power such an aphrodesiac? And what is so important about male power in this world? Eva wants to know, and wants to let us know what she thinks.

I've been watching the trends between the genders for nearly thirty years now, and I must say that the last decade or so has been a profoundly interesting one in terms of the battle of the sexes. Some of us might find that term a bit outdated, or cliched, and yet I think it may well be more warranted than ever before.

Because of the Information Age; the so-called Sexual Revolution; greater communication between cultures, nations, societies and so on, world-wide awareness of certain issues and trends is developing rapidly. Women and men all over the world have more access than ever before to information, education, cultural commentary, other customs, etc. The internet, for those privileged few who own a computer and a modem or who have access to same plus the essential component of a dialtone, is changing the face of communication.

And yet, for all our technological advances, for all the wealth of information out there in the world today, what have we really learned about gender equality, or about men and women simply getting along with each other?

Reporting from the workplace, Jill Anderson shares her experiences of being a woman in a man's world -- an editor of magazines in the realm of computers and electronic entertainment. Is it enough to be a competent worker? Does beauty really equate to power? And how come women seem to wind up relegated to supportive, not dominant, positions in the work force?

Suppress sexuality, warns Anderson, and witch hunts may result.

Finally, speaking of work; women; self-esteem and financial independence; sexuality and power, the final opinion this month is from Norma Jean Almadovar, Executive Director of COYOTE Southern California. COYOTE is an activist organization that responds to the needs and concerns of prostitutes. Challenging the stereotypes of the down-trodden whore, Norma Jean provides us with a no-nonsense look at the notion of choice. Choice informs her decision to become a prostitute, her sexuality, and sense of empowerment.

Choice is also one of the crucial elements of self-esteem. It is one of the essential building blocks of life, of freedom, of transformation. Choice elevates us from victims to survivors, and from survivors to human beings who thrive on life and joy.

Whether we're choosing to follow traditional gender paths, relationships, attractions, and power dynamics, or deciding to shake up the planet and try approaching life on different terms, choice is the Great Decision we all face.

Making well-informed, committed choices for our own lives is part of empowerment, and part of why creative work focused on women is produced here, there, everywhere. We want to let each other know that we have choices, and to share the experiences and stories of where our various decisions have led us.

Or, at least, that's my opinion.

Alex Uttermann
Opinion Editor,
Moondance


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